IELTS Task 2: A debatable issue?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,093 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
A student recently wrote an IELTS Task 2 answer which began in the following way:
Using animals to determine whether or not new products are suitable for human consumption is a debatable issue. 
What's wrong here?

Well, it's in the use of the term 'a debatable issue'.  When do we use this phrase?  If someone states something that is open to debate, we might respond: 'That's debatable'.

Notice the following examples:

Person 1: "Boys are better than girls."
Person 2: "That's debatable!"

Person 1: "We need to go to university in order to get a good job."
Person 2: "That's debatable - my brother, who has a BA, has been unemployed for two years."

Typically, we use the term 'debatable' after a point-of-view has been stated and there are different opinions about what is correct. Whereas in the example above, no opinion was given so we would write it this way:
Using animals to determine whether or not new products are suitable for human consumption is an often debated issue. 
 B) 


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